Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Film Review: PontyPool (2008)

Review by: Rick Romanoswki
Directed by: Bruce McDonald
Written by: Tom Burgess
Limited Release, U.S. May 2009

I am going to be totally honest, when I first heard the premises of Pontypool, I thought it would be about zombies and I thought that it would have been sort of dumb… but I was very wrong. In fact, this turned out to be one of my favorite apocalyptic movies of all time. I loved every bit of this movie right down to the acting and even the actual sickness that plagues humans. I was even terrified at some points.

The movie takes place entirely in an underground radio station and follows the radio’s host, producer and assistant and it’s about them trying to figure out what is happening when an unknown sickness is driving all the people in the area crazy. But, this is no normal disease… I won’t say how you catch it, but it is very genius.

First off, this movie really reminds me of Signs because you can hear what is happening, there are several points where the characters turn on the radio or the news or even hear from somebody out in the field in order to know what’s happening and you can hear what’s happening but can’t see it. It’s a form of psychological horror that feeds off that fear of the unknown. It’s brilliant and yet so very tense. I often found myself scared of listening to the news reports.

As for the actual sickness that causes people to go crazy, I would like to state that the infected people are NOT zombies but rather ‘conversationalists.’ The sickness as well as the overall explanation of what’s going on is very genius and brilliant but that is it’s only downfall, it can get way too confusing. But I can’t help but think that the whole virus that is going around is a metaphor for social media and the way that different cultures clash together, which is very smart to tackle. There is also some social commentary on political elements such as the Iraqi War.

Overall, this is a very tense and moving story of horror. The acting is great and very believable, the plot is brilliant and the movie has some of the darkest comedy that I have ever seen in a horror movie. It keeps you on your seat and it is probably one of the most original apocalyptic movies that I have ever seen. I was enthralled by it’s story and I was on my seat the entire time. I strongly recommend this movie to any horror fan.


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